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Mom charged with trying to drown child in the Appomattox River

Posted at 11:46 PM, Feb 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-04 07:14:05-05

HOPEWELL, Va. -- Leslei Kuykendall, the Hopewell mother who police said was holding her child while walking into the Appomattox River in January, has been charged with attempted murder.

Kuykendall was attempting to drown her child on January 11, according to Hopewell Police.

Officers were able to bring Kuykendall and the child out of the water on a rescue boat.

The child was resuscitated and rushed to the hospital for further treatment. The child has since recovered and was released from the hospital, according to police.

"The prosecutor has to have actual evidence that she intended to kill the victim at the time she was committing the crime. Not that she was negligent or that she was reckless, but that she intended to kill the child," CBS 6 legal analyst Todd Stone said about the charges and the prosecution's burden of proof. "That can be done with witness testimony of her dunking the child under. It could be done with her statements where she might admit to it, or anything like that could help the prosecutor prove it."

Previously nolle prossed drug charges Kuykendall faced last summer could now move forward if prosecutors find she was under the influence when she allegedly tried to drown her child.